August Ambassador Spotlight
Meet James Stodd
Occupation: Management Consultant
Organization: JT Stodd & Associates
Hometown: Peoria, IL
When and why did you get involved with BRAC?
I initially became a BRAC investor in July 2015 and immediately got involved with the BRAC Ambassador program as a way to meet more people in the business community. Each year that I’m involved I not only enjoy it more, but also become a stronger “cheerleader” for BRAC and its mission of service to the nine-parish region. I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked in quite a few places ranging from Chicago to Los Angeles, but the Baton Rouge experience is unique, partially because of BRAC. I’m not sure people within the community really know how very fortunate they are to have such a capable and committed organization working on their collective behalf.
Tell us more about how you are involved in Baton Rouge.
For the last 17 years, I’ve operated a boutique management consulting firm specializing in compensation and rewards, strategic organization planning, and change management. I initially founded my firm back in 2001 while my wife and I lived in southern California. But, in 2011, we moved back to Baton Rouge to be closer to our family. For me, joining BRAC was an opportunity for me to become more invested, involved and connected in what was then a new community.
Why do you stay involved with BRAC?
I believe that BRAC is unique amongst local chamber organizations because of its vision, passion and steadfast commitment not only to the business community, but to the welfare of the Baton Rouge community and southern Louisiana as a whole.
What would you tell someone considering becoming a BRAC investor?
I think most business people approach organizations like BRAC with a “what’s in it for me” or ROI perspective, which is natural, understandable and expected. But as a business person who is invested in the community, I’ve learned the most important reason to become a BRAC investor is because of what’s in it for “us”… all of us! BRAC consistently works for collective betterment, and its success benefits everybody, not just business leaders.
What’s one of the most exciting things you see happening in the Baton Rouge Area today?
The most exciting thing is not an event, initiative or plan…it is the community’s resilience under adverse circumstances and their commitment to working together to overcome and promote the collective well-being even under enormous challenges. I think that’s what we want the nation and the world to see…that’s how we want to be known! “Come for the food, but stay because of the people”…that’s what we should say.
BRAC’s Ambassador Program is designed to allow company representatives to actively build relationships with BRAC investors and business leaders while serving as advocates of BRAC’s work.
Each month, BRAC highlights one of these ambassadors in the Ambassador Spotlight. To learn more about the Ambassador Program visit the program page here.